Moisturizers do more than just hydrate your skin. They create a protective film that keeps out bacteria and other environmental impurities that can cause blemishes and other skin damage. Some moisturizers even help to soften and relax your skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (see References 1, pages 186-187). Making your own moisturizer lets you tinker with the balance of ingredients, giving you the freedom to experiment and find the recipe that best meets your needs. In addition, formulating your own moisturizer gives you complete control over the ingredients, allowing you to use only organic or locally produced sources, if you prefer.
Items you will need:
- Small glass or metal bowl
- 1 oz. aloe vera, licorice root extract or green tea extract
- 1 tsp. melted beeswax
- 2 tsp. glycerin
- 1/2 tsp. avocado, jojoba or other plant-based oil, or cocoa butter or shea butter
- Glass cosmetic jar that holds at least 2 oz.
Put 1 tsp. beeswax in a small glass or metal bowl and set the bowl in a saucepan filled with 1 inch of water. Heat the water to melt the beeswax, stirring until it's uniformly melted and smooth. Beeswax acts as an emulsifier, a substance that holds other ingredients together and prevents separation. It can also soften and soothe your skin, but that role belongs primarily to the oil you'll include in the recipe.
Stir in 1 oz. of either aloe vera, licorice root extract or green tea extract. Any of these ingredients helps heal and soothe damaged skin.
Stir in 2 tsp. glycerin, then add either 1/2 tsp. of a plant-based oil, such as avocado or jojoba, or 1/2 tsp. cocoa butter or shea butter. Continue stirring for five to seven minutes, until the beeswax begins to cool. Glycerin acts as a humectant and helps hold in your skin's natural moisture. Oil-based ingredients help keep your skin soft and supple and are especially important if you experience problems with dry skin.
Transfer the mixture to a glass jar. Label the glass jar with the date. The basic recipe yields about 2 oz. of liquid, which will solidify a bit when cool, so a 2-oz. jar should accommodate it; however, if you are adding scents, penetration enhancers or other ingredients, you'll probably need a slightly larger jar.
- You can add additional ingredients to the above base recipe, depending on what you need in a moisturizer. If you're adding ingredients that you want to absorb into your skin, include a penetration enhancer, such as cod liver oil, rosehip oil, peppermint extract, chamomile extract or menthol. Test these ingredients first on a patch of skin before using them on your face, as they may cause skin irritation in some people.
- Tea tree oil contains antibacterial properties that help protect your skin from blemishes. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide offer protection against harmful UV rays from the sun. Finally, antioxidants -- acai, pomegranate and green tea -- and vitamins A and E provide protective benefits to your skin. (See References 1, 2, page 190)
- Discard any unused product after one month. (See References 2, page 95)
- "The Green Beauty Guide: Your Essential Resource to Natural and Organic Skin Care"; Julie Gabriel; 2008
- "Natural Alternatives for You and Your Home"; Casey Kellar; 2009
First published in 2000, Dawn Walls-Thumma has served as an editor for "Bartleby" and "Antithesis Common" literary magazines. Walls-Thumma writes about education, gardening and sustainable living. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and writing from University of Maryland and is a graduate student in humanities at American Public University.
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